Fasting… Principles, Lengths, Types!

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Podcasts

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Thomas Jefferson said, “The best of all medicines is resting and fasting” Today I got the fasting part but as for resting… well not so much, although it was a day by myself and that gave me plenty of time to spend with the Father. I got it half right.

i’m going to share some things I’ve experienced and observed regarding fasting Just maybe i can save you some grief. This may be a little dry but i’ll do my best and if nothing else keep it short. But as I found out and shared yesterday it is important to fast correctly.

For me there are five key principles to fasting.

#1. Fasting is an invitation from God – If i say “yes” to Him in fasting, a doorway is opened for Him to bring a greater measure of His love to me.

#2. Fasting is a paradox – my body becomes weak and hungry but my spirit is strengthened in His fullness.

#3. Fasting is a grace – A lifestyle of fasting can only be done by God’s grace.

#4. Fasting is humbling – Isaiah 58:1-8 – “This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.

#5 Fasting is worship – It’s my declaration of my need for God.

Lengths of Fasts

One Day – Lev 16:29 – 23:27

Three Day – Paul… Acts 9:9

Seven Day – David… 2 Sam 12:15-18, 21, 23

Three Weeks – Daniel… Dan 10:2, 3

Forty Days – Moses… Ex 24:18, 34:28   Deut 9:9-18

Forty Days – Elijah… I Kings 19:8

Forty Days – Jesus… Matt 4:2,3

Eighty Four Years – Anna… Luke 2:36-40 Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

When they finished everything required by God in the Law, they returned to Galilee and their own town, Nazareth. There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit. And the grace of God was on him.

There may be some difficulties or distractions while fasting

  1. Physical weakness and side effects
  2. Change in metabolism – slows down
  3. Mental weakness – spacey, feeling dazed
  4. Emotional Stress – easily annoyed
  5. Loss of Effectiveness – Less motivation
  6. Relational Disruptions – tension
  7. Increased attacks from the enemy

Types of Food Fasts

  1. No food, water only – Usually 1,3 or 7 days.
  2. Liquids only – juices or water. Usually does not include milk shakes etc.
  3. Absolute – no food and no water. Usually 1 or 3 days
  4. Partial – give up favorite or tasty foods.
  5. Benedict – one meal a day.

With all that said, it is for each of us to find how God would have us fast. It’s not a question of if but of when and how. This is what I know, “The kind of fast day I’m after: breaks the chains of injustice, gets rid of exploitation in the workplace, frees the oppressed, and  cancel debts.”

 In closing, Acts 13:2 (MSG)– says, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” They repositioned themselves and they emerged into what God had called them.
Barnabas and Saul were to emerge as in actually leave one place and go to another. For me emerging is to spiritually go from this place to another place. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.”
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